SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CN) – A Notre Dame employee made “racially charged comments” about the sexual prowess and genitalia of a black student she forced to have sex with her daughter, the student claims in court.
The lawsuit filed anonymously on Oct. 30 in St. Joseph County Superior Court also redacts the name of the Notre Dame employee and her daughter.
Their names are all redacted as well in an Oct. 16 letter by Notre Dame – provided by attorneys for the student with Anderson, Agostino & Keller – which announces the employee’s firing in response to the student’s allegations.
John Doe, as the student identifies himself in the complaint, says it all started during his first year at Notre Dame, where he was admitted on academic scholarship.
Doe says the university assigned Jane Roe as his academic coach in spring 2015 and that Roe “immediately … coordinated a sexually and racially motivated inappropriate and demeaning relationship” between Doe and her daughter.
The complaint specifies that Roe is white but offers very little detail about the daughter. A press release that Doe’s attorneys issued along with their complaint meanwhile notes that the daughter was “a student at a nearby school” who also worked at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame’s letter says this daughter “was not found to be in violation of any university policy,” but it said the academic coach’s behavior violated both school values and the university’s policy against sexual and discriminatory harassment.
Doe says the coach arranged for his “sexual liaisons” with the daughter, conduct that included “providing lodging, transportation, hotel rooms and condoms for sexual excursions across state lines.”
In addition to the racially charged comments about Doe’s genitalia, Roe also had a habit of “interrogating [him] about the nature, frequency, and quality of the sexual activities,” the complaint states.
Doe says Roe pressured him into keeping up the relationship “against his will,” even threatening him when he tried to break it off.
The Associated Press quotes university spokesman Paul Browne as saying that the school denies responsibility for the academic coach’s behavior.
Though Doe claims that he was one of many young black students and student-athletes whom the coach had a “routine” of targeting, Browne reportedly called these allegations “unfounded,” “an allegation that is nothing more than a cynical attempt to attract publicity.”
Doe says the conduct quickly took a toll on his grades and emotional state, and that Roe pressured him into seeking counseling from a friend of hers at the university.
In this vein, “university personnel sought to medicate plaintiff John Doe to keep him passive, cooperative, and under control to forestall any exposure of this exploitative and perverse conduct and hostile environment,” the complaint states.
Topping it all off, Roe also pressured Doe “to convert to Catholicism against his will,” the complaint states.
Doe seeks damages and an injunction preserving his scholarship and financial aid, as well as an independent investigation.
The complaint alleges racial discrimination in violation of Title VI, sexual harassment and discrimination in violation of Title IX, negligence and other wrongs.
Doe’s attorneys at Anderson, Agostino & Keller noted that they are still waiting on a demand for a relief given to the university two weeks before the suit was filed.
“The failure to respond and react reflects a double standard by some at the university, as the objectification would not have been tolerated under any other set of circumstances,” the firm said in a statement. “The student fell prey to a manipulative and predatory scheme.”
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